One of the most anticipated aspects of the refit for me was redesigning and rebuilding the bows. Coming on the back of the ‘repairs’ phase of the works, and the nervous moments that produced, we were all very keen to get into one of the jobs that would visually transform the boat. Of course, we went for reverse (dreadnaught) bows. We can talk about increased reserve buoyancy in the bows, additional waterline length when pressed hard and all that great stuff, but more importantly with the beautiful curves already designed into the boat these new bows will look amazing!
Having completed a complex nose job on SAVAGE, we followed the same general design approach. Namely, the rake of the new bows following the angle of the forestay (in our case an angle of 69o), a centre-line profile, lots of longitudinal stringers, high density foam, and all the rest.
So, off with the old bows. We cut forward of the most forward bulkhead and removed all the foam back to it to provide a structure to tie the new bow into. This also meant that there was no need to rebuild the pad-eye points for the bobstays (these were inspected and are in a very solid condition). A rough centre-line profile shape was then cut and fitted. This took a little bit of ‘tweaking’ to make sure the bow transitioned nicely along the bottom and into the existing hull form. From this we ran temporary strakes aft to make sure that the longitudinals we were going to add would also fair nicely into the existing hull shape so that everything looked tied together as if the boat had been built with these bows from the outset. Once we were happy with all of that, the permanent longitudinals were bonded in place, the temporary strakes were removed and the spaces between the longitudinals filled with high density foam. From there the job was handed over to the yards master shaper who worked his magic shaping the foam, then laying the glass, filling, sanding, filling again, sanding again …. and again … and again until finally the bows were ready for paint. I think we can all agree, the results are not too shabby at all!